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Old 08-21-2015, 08:08 AM   #1
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Propane Gas Alarm

Hello to all ! 2013 Winnebago Adventurer 32H. Came home from a short 3 day trip recently and parked motorhome. Connected to shore power. Came out of house the next day and heard alarm which turned out to be Propane Gas Alarm. All appliances were off. Happend 2 days in a row. Closed valve at tank this morning before leaving house. What Im wondering is could I actually have a gas leak with no appliance calling for gas ? Or could it be a defective sensor ? Is there a cheap meter available somewhere to do some leak tests ? No smell of gas inside coach. Kinda baffled.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:14 AM   #2
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Remove it from the wall and check the replacement date on it. They only last about 5 years and there should be a sticker. No telling how long it sat at the manufacturer before it was installed.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:25 AM   #3
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First--I would verify that you are talking about an LP alarm, and not a combination LP/CO alarm.. If the alarm you are hearing is coming from a combination detector, you may be dealing with CO or LP.

CO has no odor whatsoever and it's deadly so it's important to know which problem you MAY be facing.

Having said that, both types of detectors can be overly sensitive. Many things will trigger an LP alarm that are not dangerous. Have a small dog that walks past your detector? If it passes gas at just the right moment, methane gas WILL trigger an LP alarm! They are THAT sensitive. The good news about LP is that it has a very strong and distinct odor, so you should be able to sniff around (close to the detector). If you smell any, you need to get that fixed ASAP, and immediately turn off the LP supply at your LP tank to prevent fire from pilot lights, electric pilot lights, sparks, etc..

Also know that these detectors do expire, and often before they are supposed to. I am currently replacing a CO detector that had an expiration date in the year 2020. BTW--my RV is also a 2013, so the parts used in my RV are probably similar in age to what was used in yours.

Check your instructions manual too, because sometimes there are trouble shooting resets and beep sequences that help you figure out the problem. Maybe your detector has a battery back-up and the battery is dead?

Definitely don't ignore this problem by unplugging the detector. They really are a necessary safety element, even though the current technology is a little flaky at times. If you have to disconnect it until you get to the root of the problem, as I said above, TURN OF your LP supply to prevent a catastrophic explosion, and buy a back-up sensor(s) to use in the RV if you plan on using the RV in the interim. I bought an inexpensive battery operated CO detector for my dead CO detector in my RV until I can replace 12V unit.

Good luck finding source of problem! I suspect you probably just have a bad sensor in your detector, but better safe than sorry!!
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:31 AM   #4
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we had a problem like that when we had a fifth wheel.. I borrowed a tester from the local fire department to check for leaks.. don't bother with a cheap one.. We replaced the sensor with a new one and no more false alarms. It was 10 years old.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin1959 View Post
Hello to all ! 2013 Winnebago Adventurer 32H. Came home from a short 3 day trip recently and parked motorhome. Connected to shore power. Came out of house the next day and heard alarm which turned out to be Propane Gas Alarm. All appliances were off. Happend 2 days in a row. Closed valve at tank this morning before leaving house. What I'm wondering is could I actually have a gas leak with no appliance calling for gas ? Or could it be a defective sensor ? Is there a cheap meter available somewhere to do some leak tests ? No smell of gas inside coach. Kinda baffled.
kevin1959
Gasses other than propane can/will trigger a Propane Gas Alarm.
Sometimes the hydrogen sulfide fumes produced when my lead acid house batteries are being chargedwill set off a my Propane Gas Alarm.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:49 AM   #6
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Mel is absolutely correct about the batteries... Mel--I believe this is most likely if his batteries are going though a very deep charge, possibly due to one or more bad cells, right? IF so, he could have his batteries load tested to see if you have any bad cells.

I thought of another idea too... as you do some of your troubleshooting, you could place a cheaper sensor (LP or CO, whichever your problem really is) right next to your current RV sensor and do some trial and error. For example... remove a potential source for the offending gas (ex. your batteries, your farting dog, turning on/off your LP supply) and see if you get an alarm on one or both sensors. This is a sort of cowboy approach, but it may help you identify the source. If both sensors go off, then you have pretty good evidence that you located the problem. If the new home sensor seems fine but your RV unit is alarming, maybe you just have a bad alarm that needs to be replaced.

Rob
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
Mel is absolutely correct about the batteries... Mel--I believe this is most likely if his batteries are going though a very deep charge, possibly due to one or more bad cells, right? IF so, he could have his batteries load tested to see if you have any bad cells.
I thought of another idea too... as you do some of your troubleshooting, you could place a cheaper sensor (LP or CO, whichever your problem really is) right next to your current RV sensor and do some trial and error. For example... remove a potential source for the offending gas (ex. your batteries, your farting dog, turning on/off your LP supply) and see if you get an alarm on one or both sensors. This is a sort of cowboy approach, but it may help you identify the source. If both sensors go off, then you have pretty good evidence that you located the problem. If the new home sensor seems fine but your RV unit is alarming, maybe you just have a bad alarm that needs to be replaced.
Rob
Rob
You are correct.
Another thing that can cause abnormal gassing is incorrect "charge settings" of the inverter/charger.
(The owner's manual for most inverter chargers explain the different charge settings available.....and how to set them correctly).
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Old 08-21-2015, 02:59 PM   #8
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I've had this problem, too. So thanks, everyone, for the great insights. I've stopped being surprised by what a great resource irv2 is.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:59 AM   #9
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We recently had this problem as well. Ours seemed to have accumulated lots of dust and dog hair. We vacuumed it out and cleaned it and that seemed to fix it. That said, this happened around the same time we had problems with our house batteries, which we had to replace, so, maybe based on info here, it was the batteries.
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Old 08-23-2015, 11:02 AM   #10
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Often the propane alarm gets a collection of moisture and dust on it that will set it off. Taking a blow dryer to it for about 2 minutes and then letting it sit out in the sun for a few hours will often cure the alarm issue and it will function perfectly again.
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